It’s National Sugar Cookie Day

That’s right people, it is NATIONAL SUGAR COOKIE DAY.  This means EVERYONE should be out there baking away!  Sugar cookies are not something I make often, but are great for when I’m with the kids.  So it’s time to pull out the basic equipment and brush up on your baking techniques.

RECIPE:

Sugar Cookies

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) room temperature

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

a little sugar (colored or crystal, etc) for garnishing

  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt into bowl.
  • Beat sugar and butter until creamy in a large bowl.  Add the next three ingredients until fluffy.
  • Combine flour mixture.
  • Divide dough into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for 2 hours until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  • Take one half of the dough and roll out to a thickness of 1/8 inch on floured surface.
  • Cut individual shapes of cookies with round cutter.
  • Place cookies on sheet and sprinkle with sugar of your choice.
  • Bake for 9 minuets or until lightly browned.
  • Cool, remove from sheet and continue.  Dough makes 24 cookies.

Tips:

  1. Don’t use imitation/artificial ingredients.
  2. Butter should always be at room temperature to avoid cold lumps while trying to blend with sugars, etc.
  3. Work with half of the dough while shaping and cutting.  Why?  So you don’t over kneed/work making the dough too tough.
  4. Flatten your balls of dough to form a better mold/shape of cookie.
  5. Offer enough room for your cookies while on the pan.  Consider an inch of space.
  6. Cool cookies completely before storing.

 

I made cinnamon rolls :)

Guys I am so excited because I made cinnamon rolls today – YES!  Are they the best you’ve ever seen?  Probably not LOL but that’s ok.  I’m still proud of my efforts 🙂

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I wasn’t sure whose recipes to explore.  I’m also those people who for whatever stubborn reason lacks the interest of following instructions and enjoys breaking away to do my own thing – don’t ask why (…probably why you didn’t love it). Also, The Eagle doesn’t really care for cream cheese so I changed the glaze as well.

I was nervous the entire time.  Whenever I’m near bread/yeast, things go wrong LOL  If you read the previous blog about biscuits then you should remember me mentioning I tend to over kneed or simply destroy the dough.  OH – FYI, I’m going to practice biscuits sometime this week. Not only should you wish me luck, BUT also send out a bread prayer – just saying and thanks in advance!IMG_3104.JPG

I’m not posting the recipe either.  Not because I don’t want to share, but because I’m still working on it for it’s a mixture of a few.  Besides, it’s not 3 or 4 stars yet. The bread came out well, but I could have pulled it out of the oven few minuets sooner. It baked for 25-30 minuets at 350 degrees.  I should have taken it out the first time I checked on them 20-25 minuets in.  Luckily they were still soft.

For the icing I combined powered sugar, butter and VERY little cream cheese.  He actually enjoyed it – Shocking!

IMG_3106.JPG Over all, we were pleased.  They were yummy enough.  I ate two back to back and a third an hour later.  I was VERY proud of myself, but I know what’s great and I have ways to go, but that’s ok because I’m down for the ride. <eye wink>

Well, I just wanted to share.  And if there’s something you too are working on, you have my support 🙂

YOU CAN DO IT!

Celebrating Black History Month…with the pastry fork

On March 1, 1892 the special version of the pastry fork was patented by Ms. Anna M. Mangin.  Designed to cut together butter and flour to create pie crusts and cookies, the pastry fork was a tool to use without involving your hands to physically manipulate the ingredients.  The utensil could also be used to beat eggs and mash other food items.

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Looks like an open slotted spatula huh?  It was be made of iron, steel, wood or any other suitable material.  The pastry fork allowed the ingredients to mix and pass through freely and was also designed to thoroughly cut and pulverize the dry pastry.

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Luckily with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, African-Americans could finally receive patents on their inventions.  So many never gained recognition for their achievements prior.  Some never wanted to be identified, believing their nationality or sex would hinder the rise and success of their inventions.

Well, I am proud of my ancestors and their inventions, patented or not, named or unnamed.  There are so many tools we use today because of them and I am forever baking-liciously thankful 🙂

Celebrating Black History Month…with the biscuit cutter

OMG anyone who knows me knows to never eat my biscuits.  <sigh>  YES, meaning they are that horrible. I just can’t get it.  I suck at it AND I TRY SO HARD (pathetic sad face).  Oh as I lay on the floor in a big X surrounded by a variety of flours, I think to myself…why me?  Well, a few biscuits turned cookies or whatever they may be is not going to stop me from figuring it out (confident smile, yet still secretly crying on the inside).

Circling through a few readings, I decided to write about one of my many loves…biscuits!

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Noticed I said cookies.  Now in some regions outside of the US and Canada, crisp biscuits are considered cookies.  So like I said, unfortunately I’m skilled at constructing a tray of ‘cookies’ LOL Now, there are many types of biscuits. There are angel biscuits (these contain yeast), drop biscuits, rolled biscuits, short cakes, cookies and scones…of which I don’t believe in.

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Celebrating Black History Month…with sweet potato pie

For Black History Month I wasn’t sure what I should do.  After going back and forth with different ideas I finally decided for the third time lol to create a short list of popular desserts hosted by Blacks/African-Americans.  Today I shall start off with pie.

Food has always been utilized for celebrations or simply an opportunity to gather with loved ones.  Soul Food, the term originating from the 60’s, known as the African-American Southern Cuisine has been an important staple of our culture.  Combining ingredients, recipes and experiences passed down from our African elders, Native Americans and even Europeans is what makes it interesting and dear to our hearts.

With recipes dating back to Medieval Europe, the Sweet Potato Pie is a traditional open face pie usually prepared by boiling the potatoes until soft and skinning them for mashing.  The pie filing is usually a combination of the mashed potatoes, sugar, milk and eggs, however varied regions include spices, flavoring or additions such as vanilla and cinnamon.

Today Blacks/African-Americans are mainly familiar with sweet potato pies.  It’s the staple of most African-American homes. However, Africans were more familiar with yams since yams were native to Africa.    Around the 16th century, Europeans brought over the practice of preparing pumpkin pies as a main dessert to West Africans as well as sweet potatoes.   However, during the times of slavery, Africans abandoned the use of pumpkin and leaned towards the use of yams and of course eventually transitioned into sweet potatoes.

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